There are several NFL practice squad rule changes in 2020, and among them is that teams are allowed to protect up to four practice squad players each week.
Basically, this means there are four of 16 practice squad players who cannot be signed by other teams this week, from Tuesday through Sunday.
For Week 1, the Eagles protected:
- WR Deontay Burnett
- OG Sua Opeta
- DE Joe Ostman
- DB Trevor Williams
Those names aren’t very surprising. They are four of the Eagles’ top practice squad players, and all play positions where the Eagles might need depth relatively soon.
Burnett, Opeta, Ostman and Williams are protected through the end of the Eagles’ Week 1 game. Under normal circumstances, practice squad players are permitted to sign with any other team’s active roster. In recent seasons, the Eagles have protected players in their own way by promoting Nate Sudfeld and Opeta so they wouldn’t lose them.
Another new rule we might see the Eagles use this year is the ability to promote two practice squad players weekly to create a 55-man roster. These players are basically given safe passage to and from the practice squad without subjecting them to waivers. They can use this rule just twice per player.
There’s a chance one or two of those protected players in Week 1 might be playing against Washington on Sunday.